Charola-Anitua Photos

Recently a 7mm Charola-Anitua pistol showed up on GunBroker, with some pretty decent photos. I can’t afford to buy it, but I can afford to share the photos!

The 7mm Charola-Anitua was made from 1900 until 1905, with about 2000 made in total. It is an interesting somewhat crude variation on the short-recoil system used by the C96 Mauser.


  1. There’s a reasonably priced 5 mm “project” with a couple of missing screws on gunbroker right now. Might be of interest to someone who can work a lathe.

    • Well spotted, there are three available on GB at the moment but the project pistol is priced quite a bit below the others.

  2. Though resembling outwardly to the famous C96, the locking system is quite
    different. Locking block is not located in the barrel extention, but pinned
    in the receiver and contacts with breechblock and barrel extention at different
    heights, therefore not securely locks the two members but gives somewhat different
    backward speed at recoiling stage. This is just the same construction with Italian
    Glisenti pistol and rise a question in mind if the designers of two pistols had
    made a co-work in one time. Same system with highly different parts and location is
    also used on present FN FiveSeven.

  3. Well, it’s slim.

    I’ve never fired one of those Mauser-style pistols with the magazine out ahead of the trigger guard, so maybe I’m all wet but they sure seem like clumsy things. It’s not as though pistols were invented at the turn of the 20th century, so I wonder if, before tooling up to make them by the tens of thousands somebody didn’t exclaim, “But the balance is so BAD!”

    Then again I thought the same thing, transitioning to a .44 pistol after a lifetime of 1911s, and got used to it over time. “It’s so top-heavy!”

    • Joel,

      On the C96 at least, it’s not so much that the balance is bad, but rather than the grip shape is not very ergonomic and the bore axis is too high, which makes it difficult to point naturally. The Charola also seems to have a very strange and not particularly ergonomic grip.

      • Revolver-type grips were very much the in thing at the time. The forward mounted magazine was an attempt by designers to get a worthwhile capacity while retaining the “feel” of the revolver grip.

        The Charola grip is very like that of a small-frame S&W double action, like the .22 “Ladysmith” of the day. And S&W copies were already being made around there at that time.

        For a similar comparison, look at the Mauser C/96 grip compared to typical Continental service-type revolvers of its day, such as the Dutch Model 1873, the Austrian Rast & Gasser 8mm, the Swiss 7.5mm Model 1882, and especially the German Model 1883 and Mauser’s own Model 1878 “Zig-Zag” revolver. The grip shape is so similar that the lanyard ring mount is even in the same place.

        While all of the above tend to point high in modern “instinctive” shooting, when used in the manner taught in the manuals of the day (erect posture, off hand on hip, shooting arm with elbow slightly bent, shooting hand cocked downward to bring pistol to line-of-sight), a grip like this tends to center the barrel on the intended target.

        The problem, of course, would be whether or not the adverse party would give you time to “assume the position” when the festivities commence.



  4. My 7mm Charola (Ser. 10546) does have wood S&W grips – a near perfect fit! But I’m still trying to find the correct grips with the star logo.

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